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Albury/Wodonga residents have been left without a Hydrotherapy pool !

The decision to close the hydro pool @ Albury base hospital was made by the CEO, Mr. Leigh McJames. The closure was sudden and deemed permanent, with out the consultation of the community or the MANY support groups that utilise this important asset. 

The J.A.M support group (Joints and Muscles) has used this Hydro pool for almost 10 years. J.A.M support group was told by staff that the pool was closed "for maintenance". After weeks of closure, J.A.M requested a meeting with Mr. McJames. This prompted an EMAIL that described the pool as being "not fit for purpose," despite many years of incident free operation, and that "budget priorities needed to be considered." We also learned that this closure was "Indefinite." We received this information AFTER we requested a meeting on behalf of pool users.

Our Hydro pool is a VITAL public resource for the populace on both sides of the Border. So much so, that this exact hydro pool was booked -solid- Monday to Friday, and beyond business hours at times.

Our Hydro pool is also an invaluable lifeline to the social connections that groups like J.A.M aim to foster. Countless Health departments have spent large amounts of money trying to enable chronic illness sufferers to educate and help themselves -preferably in a drug free manner. We simply CANNOT do that effectively if we are deprived of the essential resources which we need to self manage our health.

The additional support provided to our youngest pool users and our disabled pool users cannot go unmentioned. Our Hydro pool routinely accommodates children and toddlers with Neuromuscular disorders. Briefly, their world is fully accessible and great comfort is experienced in the Hydrotherapy pool. This type of exercise is unique and for so many this is the only safe way to for them to exercise.

J.A.M, as a support group, has always tried to better the facilities we are lucky to have. We have continually purchased exercise equipment, and we have also purchased a water wheel chair- to assist those who want to independently access the pool via a ramp. Finally, We have given a large donation to the hospital, to go towards the purchase of a new mechanical Hoist.  A fully accessible hydrotherapy pool is locked up, not helping anyone- and causing a great deal of pain within our community.

We have sought clarification and further communication regarding the future of our pool from Mr. Leigh McJames, and engagement from all levels of Parliament, The lack of understanding regarding the true effect of such an action on some of the most vulnerable people within our society is utterly stunning. We have Breast cancer survivor groups, Arthritis support groups, Pain management groups, Specialised Disability groups and MANY others that NEED & DEPEND ON THIS POOL TO SELF MANAGE OUR HEALTH.



Please help us SECURE the future of the Hydrotherapy pool @Albury Base Hospital by contacting, calling, emailing and politely questioning these fine people...


Jill Hennessy, Minister for Health                                                                     

(03) 9096 8561
Ministerial Office
Level 22, 50 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Mr. Leigh McJames, CEO, Albury Base Hospital 9 

(02) 6058 4744. or


Albury Wodonga Hospital Board

Chair: Ms. Nicola Melville

(02) 6058 4444